Since the General Election, Huddersfield Liberal Democrats have knocked on nearly 2000 doors in central Almondbury and Waterloo with a residents' survey.
Now we are continuing with surveys in the Fernside and Moldgreen areas over the winter. Here are the results from nearly 300 returns, and comments from Survey Co-ordinator Cllr. Alison Munro, and Cllr. Linda Wilkinson.
To see the results in detail go to our Facebook page.
Local issues: Many people reported potholes in the roads and bad pavements as issues: "We have reported any specific issues raised but please contact me by email if they have not been resolved," said Cllr. Wilkinson. "It also seems that fly-tipping has been on the increase in some areas since the Council put restrictions on going to the household waste sites last year, and we will keep an eye on local hotspots."
Traffic: 56% of those giving an opinion said traffic is a problem in Almondbury. Opinion is divided on further traffic calming with 52% in favour and 48% against. People highlighted speeding on Westgate/Kaye Lane, Fenay Lane, Somerset Road, and Almondbury Bank, but generally felt that speed cameras were a better solution than speed bumps.
"A couple of SID radar speed indicators have been moving on a rotation between all the roads mentioned above, with one currently on Fenay Lane. I am asking Highways for a review of data from these surveys. Speed cameras have been requested before without success, but I think attitudes may be changing so we will ask again if the data shows speeding traffic," said Cllr Munro.
Young People: 47% are happy with local education provision, and 13% unhappy, with 41% expressing no opinion. 36% are happy with other facilities for young people, and 23% unhappy, 42% having no opinion. “I am pleased that most people are happy with local education provision, but several raised concerns over the Ofsted reports at Almondbury Community School, and it appears that the “through school” model is not working as well as it should. Facilities for teenagers are seen as a problem by many people. This could be addressed in a Neighbourhood Plan,” said Cllr. Munro.
Social Care: We asked about paying for social care. Opinion is split almost 50-50 over whether the 10% Council Tax increase brought in by Kirklees over two years to pay for Social Care is justified. However 86% do not agree with recent cuts in local government finance. “I am not surprised that a large majority think that cuts to Local Government have gone too far,” said Cllr. Munro. “People are getting sick of austerity, and social care is one of the main casualties. Central government needs to recognise this and not push everything onto local councils.”
Brexit: Of those who told us they voted, 52% voted Leave and 48% Remain (remarkably close to the actual result). In a referendum tomorrow, the result amongst our sample would be 45% Leave, 55% Remain. 62% think there should be a referendum on the final Brexit deal, and a large majority think we should have protected the rights of EU citizens. "With the chaos of the Brexit negotiations I am not surprised opinion has shifted significantly towards Remain," said Cllr Wilkinson. "More surprising is the strong support for the Lib Dem policy of another referendum on the final deal."
There is strong support for Lib Dems promised in next May’s local election:
Voting intention of survey respondents General Election tomorrow:
Tory 33%; Labour 22% ; Lib Dem 9%; Green 2%; UKIP 1%; did not say 33%
Voting intention of survey respondents Local Election tomorrow:
Tory 18%; Labour 15%; Lib Dem 37%; Green 2% UKIP 0%, did not say 28%